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Mister Pip

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Mister Pip Cover

ISBN13: 9780385341066
ISBN10: 0385341067
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our lives.

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens's classic Great Expectations.

So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, "A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe." Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.

Review:

"A promising though ultimately overwrought portrayal of the small rebellions and crises of disillusionment that constitute a young narrator's coming-of-age unfolds against an ominous backdrop of war in Jones's latest. When the conflict between the natives and the invading 'redskin' soldiers erupts on an unnamed tropical island in the early 1990s, 13-year-old Matilda Laimo and her mother, Dolores, are unified with the rest of their village in their efforts for survival. Amid the chaos, Mr. Watts, the only white local (he is married to a native), offers to fill in as the children's schoolteacher and teaches from Dickens's Great Expectations. The precocious Matilda, who forms a strong attachment to the novel's hero, Pip, uses the teachings as escapism, which rankles Dolores, who considers her daughter's fixation blasphemous. With a mixture of thrill and unease, Matilda discovers independent thought, and Jones captures the intricate, emotionally loaded evolution of the mother-daughter relationship. Jones (The Book of Fame; Biografi) presents a carefully laid groundwork in the tense interactions between Matilda, Dolores and Mr. Watts, but the extreme violence toward the end of the novel doesn't quite work. Jones's prose is faultless, however, and the story is innovative enough to overcome the misplayed tragedy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A promising though ultimately overwrought portrayal of the small rebellions and crises of disillusionment that constitute a young narrator's coming-of-age unfolds against an ominous backdrop of war in Jones's latest. When the conflict between the natives and the invading 'redskin' soldiers erupts on an unnamed tropical island in the early 1990s, 13-year-old Matilda Laimo and her mother, Dolores, are unified with the rest of their village in their efforts for survival. Amid the chaos, Mr. Watts, the only white local (he is married to a native), offers to fill in as the children's schoolteacher and teaches from Dickens's Great Expectations. The precocious Matilda, who forms a strong attachment to the novel's hero, Pip, uses the teachings as escapism, which rankles Dolores, who considers her daughter's fixation blasphemous. With a mixture of thrill and unease, Matilda discovers independent thought, and Jones captures the intricate, emotionally loaded evolution of the mother-daughter relationship. Jones (The Book of Fame; Biografi) presents a carefully laid groundwork in the tense interactions between Matilda, Dolores and Mr. Watts, but the extreme violence toward the end of the novel doesn't quite work. Jones's prose is faultless, however, and the story is innovative enough to overcome the misplayed tragedy. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"On an island called Bougainville in the early 1990s, civil war rages. Rebels have taken up arms, and soldiers helicopter in from nearby Port Moresby to reestablish New Guinea's sovereignty over the island. All the whites have fled except one: Mr. Watts, a New Zealander married to a local woman. He offers to replace the departed teacher and reopen the village school; on the second day of class, he... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Mister Pip is sheer magic, a story about stories and their power to transcend the limits of imagination and reside in the deep heart's core. Lloyd Jones is a brave and fierce writer, and he has given us Dickens brand new again." Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child

Review:

"[A]ddresses ideas of place and homesickness with conviction...a worthwhile read." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Intense, beautiful, and fable-like, Joness "Mister Pip" is a remarkable work of fiction that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of literature to transform lives. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize. (Literary Fiction)

About the Author

Lloyd Jones was born in New Zealand in 1955. His previous novels and collections of stories include the award-winning The Book of Fame, Biografi, a New York Times Notable Book, Choo Woo, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance and Paint Your Wife. Lloyd Jones lives in Wellington.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Gold Gato, February 7, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
"You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames."

Mr. Watts is the main character and he takes over the task of schoolteacher to impoverished island children, and their parents, by reading GREAT EXPECTATIONS to them. As the local community becomes enthralled with the story, modern life intercedes and the masterpiece literally takes on a life of its own.

What the Dickens, indeed. Here is a rather delicate read that does take some time to get going...then starts to slide...then takes off running toward the end. Perhaps because I've taken Mr. Dickens with me to desert islands on my travels, I rather enjoyed it.

It's a real Pip.

Book Season = Summer (white sands, blue sea)

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Deborah Fochler, September 23, 2007 (view all comments by Deborah Fochler)
A novel reminiscent of the classics - Steinbeck and Dickens. This story is about the resilience of the human spirit. It takes place on an island - once a ideal place to live - now ravaged by war. An outcast is the only person to step up and try to teach the children in the aftermath. A reminder of our quest to learn and grow even during the worst of times.

While the violence is always in the background, it is shocking and profoundly unexpected when it occurs close to home. I did not see it coming and maybe this author intended it that way to make it so shocking and seem so out of place.

This is not a story you will soon forget. It is moving and shocking while heartwarming and uplifting at the same time.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385341066
Author:
Jones, Lloyd
Publisher:
The Dial Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Storytelling
Subject:
Books and reading
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.72x5.38x.95 in. .72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Mister Pip Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Dial Press - English 9780385341066 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A promising though ultimately overwrought portrayal of the small rebellions and crises of disillusionment that constitute a young narrator's coming-of-age unfolds against an ominous backdrop of war in Jones's latest. When the conflict between the natives and the invading 'redskin' soldiers erupts on an unnamed tropical island in the early 1990s, 13-year-old Matilda Laimo and her mother, Dolores, are unified with the rest of their village in their efforts for survival. Amid the chaos, Mr. Watts, the only white local (he is married to a native), offers to fill in as the children's schoolteacher and teaches from Dickens's Great Expectations. The precocious Matilda, who forms a strong attachment to the novel's hero, Pip, uses the teachings as escapism, which rankles Dolores, who considers her daughter's fixation blasphemous. With a mixture of thrill and unease, Matilda discovers independent thought, and Jones captures the intricate, emotionally loaded evolution of the mother-daughter relationship. Jones (The Book of Fame; Biografi) presents a carefully laid groundwork in the tense interactions between Matilda, Dolores and Mr. Watts, but the extreme violence toward the end of the novel doesn't quite work. Jones's prose is faultless, however, and the story is innovative enough to overcome the misplayed tragedy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A promising though ultimately overwrought portrayal of the small rebellions and crises of disillusionment that constitute a young narrator's coming-of-age unfolds against an ominous backdrop of war in Jones's latest. When the conflict between the natives and the invading 'redskin' soldiers erupts on an unnamed tropical island in the early 1990s, 13-year-old Matilda Laimo and her mother, Dolores, are unified with the rest of their village in their efforts for survival. Amid the chaos, Mr. Watts, the only white local (he is married to a native), offers to fill in as the children's schoolteacher and teaches from Dickens's Great Expectations. The precocious Matilda, who forms a strong attachment to the novel's hero, Pip, uses the teachings as escapism, which rankles Dolores, who considers her daughter's fixation blasphemous. With a mixture of thrill and unease, Matilda discovers independent thought, and Jones captures the intricate, emotionally loaded evolution of the mother-daughter relationship. Jones (The Book of Fame; Biografi) presents a carefully laid groundwork in the tense interactions between Matilda, Dolores and Mr. Watts, but the extreme violence toward the end of the novel doesn't quite work. Jones's prose is faultless, however, and the story is innovative enough to overcome the misplayed tragedy. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Mister Pip is sheer magic, a story about stories and their power to transcend the limits of imagination and reside in the deep heart's core. Lloyd Jones is a brave and fierce writer, and he has given us Dickens brand new again."
"Review" by , "[A]ddresses ideas of place and homesickness with conviction...a worthwhile read."
"Synopsis" by , Intense, beautiful, and fable-like, Joness "Mister Pip" is a remarkable work of fiction that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of literature to transform lives. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize. (Literary Fiction)
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